There was an excellent comic on Critical Miss today, wherein they put Spec Ops: The Line on their top 5 games of 2012 list, in 5th place. Which is a respectable place for a game like Spec Ops. And I think I'd agree with it's placement. Of course the real fun comes in the comment section, with people praising the aspects of the game that are actually terrible. Case in point: the hidden, 5th "good" ending. The one where you stop playing the game. Well, I already hate that ending, and by extension Yager for even suggesting it. Why?
If PETA charged for their Pokemon murder simulators (which are already pretty friggin' obnoxious), the whole world would laugh them into oblivion. But they don't. Because they're making a point.
The Line isn't making a point. They made a game with a cool story, and nobody really bought into it on account of the miserably bad third-person standard gameplay. So they decided: oh wait, our game isn't a GAME, foolish mortals, it's a STATEMENT.
I guess what bothers me is that they're trying to have their cake and sell it to you at the same time. The original aspect of the game, the story, can't reach a large crowd like they want it to without the backing of a big publisher, in this case 2K Games. But 2K Games isn't going to treat this big semi-blockbuster game as an indie project, they're here to make MONEY off of the thing. So that means outsourcing a multiplayer mode (which Yager was against), and of course selling the game for money. But the actual GAME you get for your MONEY isn't a GAME, it's a statement. It's Yager trying to make a point about the modern military themed shooter. Like Bulletstorm's "Duty Calls" promotional game that made fun of Modern Warfare. Yes, it's clever.
In closing, The Line (I still hate calling it "Spec Ops") is a cool game that I like. I'm just unwilling to pretend it reinvented the wheel, or did some craaaazy new thing. As far as Heart of Darkness games go, I still prefer Far Cry 2.